Bread consumption linked to kidney cancer

By Tom Nordlie • Published: February 5th, 2007
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Bread may be the staff of life, but some researchers fear it could increase the risk of kidney cancer.

A recent study found a possible connection between the starchy staple and renal cell carcinoma.

It’s the most common form of kidney cancer, accounting for about two percent of all cancers diagnosed in adults.

The study, published in The International Journal of Cancer, looked for connections between the disease and seventy-eight foods and beverages.

Researchers investigated the dietary habits of almost eight-hundred renal cell carcinoma survivors and twice that many control subjects.

The results showed people who ate bread had nearly double the risk of renal cell carcinoma compared with people who didn’t.

Two other starches, pasta and rice, were associated with moderately increased incidence of the cancer. So were milk and yogurt.

Other foods, such as poultry, processed meat and vegetables, reduced the chances of getting renal cell carcinoma.

Some items had no influence on risk either way. These included red meat, fish, eggs and cheese, as well as legumes, fruits, sugars, coffee and tea.

Potatoes were a wild-card item. Despite being a starch, they didn’t raise or lower the odds of renal cell carcinoma.

The researchers acknowledged their study has limited predictive value, because it looked at foods individually, not in combination.

But people already at risk for renal cell carcinoma might want to consult their doctors about diet choices.

It could be that cutting out a few servings of starch helps cuts the odds of getting cancer.